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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Hundreds of Marines are accused of using “Marines United,” a nearly 30,000 person private Facebook group, to share hundreds of nude pictures of their female colleagues and post some of the women’s personal information online.
In an online article, Marine Thomas Brennan described how members of the secret Facebook group encouraged each other to post illicit pictures of their female colleagues, some promising “free beer to contributors.”
“These photographs had name, rank and often places. It had their current military duty station. It had their hometowns. It had contact information,” said U.S. Marine Thomas Brennan.
The Purple Heart recipient said the photos drew in thousands of comments. He cited one lewd comment about a female corporal in uniform, which said, “the service member sneaking the photos should “take her out back'” and sexually attack her.
One victim said group members talked about, “what they would do to her.”
Some of the women believe their “former partners may have leaked the images.” Others said “their accounts may have been hacked or poached.”
The accusations come as the military is trying to correct a longstanding problem with sexual harassment.
In a statement, the Marine Corps said the conduct “undermines” their “core values” saying “this behavior destroys morale, erodes trust, and degrades the individual.”
Brennan is being criticized by some of his fellow Marines who say he’s also guilty of making derogatory comments about women on Facebook. In response, he told CBS News he’s never claimed to be perfect and doesn’t want this to deter from the focus of the story. Brennan said his family is also being threatened.
Facebook also commented on the issue saying, “We do not allow harassment and remove content that appears to purposefully target private individuals with the intention of degrading or shaming them.”
The social media company also noted that they have removed the offending groups from the site.